Spanish Retro

These images are an homage to my love of family run, independent, budget hotels, B&Bs, motels and guest houses. I’ve been staying in such establishments for years, for both business and pleasure. Years ago, I had a few commissions with The Times Newspaper – they’d give me £100 a day (which was a lot for a daily hotel allowance – even 15 years ago), I’d always find somewhere really cheap, never more than £30 a night, and spend the rest on more important things… more important things being a couple of bottles of Bollinger and a lamb Madras take-away.

The Hotel Meson de L’Ainsa, situated in Ainsa in the Spanish Pyrenees, has everything I love about independent hotels – non-standard decor means that no two rooms are the same, each one has its own little collection of plastic flowers, garish prints of paintings in tacky frames, furniture straight out of a ’70s porno film and heavily varnished wood panelling. There’s always wood panelling. An added feature with most European hotels is the tiled floors… an absolute guarantee that anything you accidentally drop – a phone or a camera – will instantly turn into an insurance claim.

I’d like to eventually publish a book of the photographs I’ve made in these architectural throw-backs… I can’t be the only person in the world who loves shit hotels?

PK130715EX002627-5 PK130715EX002627-4PK130715EX002627-8Images above – Fuji GW690III & Kodak Portra 400 film

Images below – Olympus MjuII 35mm compact & Fuji Superia 400 film
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  1. No you are not! I come from a very big family (five siblings) and my parents took us on vacation staying in cheap hotels. I almost always do that, rarely splurge on fancy ones… There is something on them I love, maybe the connection to my childhood 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your work reminds me so much of the greats such as William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Martin Parr. Superb stuff 🙂


  3. Hey!

    > I can’t be the only person in the world who loves shit hotels?

    You’re not. Japan has a fair few odd hotels, I think mostly left over from the bubble boom times. Oddest one I ever stayed in was called the Hotel Sylvia. When you walked in the front door, you saw a bright red coke machine with a huge ceramic panda sitting on top. And then things got weird…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, and I forgot the place where I once stayed and was informed by the manager that we were in for a real treat, as she had gone into the mountains and picked rare mountain vegetables, which the chef had prepared in the traditional way. Turns out that was the only thing on the menu. I think it was just stewed grass.


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